Brian Viloria landed a punch on Alberto Rossel during the third round in Lake Grove, N.Y., yesterday.

Viloria’s business
no longer unfinished

The boxer struggles, but beats
Rossel in their second fight

From staff and wire reports

LAKE GROVE, N.Y. >> Waipahu's Brian Viloria picked up right where he left off when his July 22 bout with Alberto Rossel was stopped because of cuts.

Unfortunately for him, they started over from scratch.

Viloria celebrated his 22nd birthday with a 10-round majority decision over Rossel yesterday to retain his North American Boxing Federation flyweight title. Just like when he won the belt, it wasn't pretty.

"This guy was handpicked and I think Brian knew it," Viloria manager Gary Gittelsohn said. "It was so easy for him the last time that he gave him no respect. Rossel is experienced and it was obvious he trained hard for this fight and came in with a game plan."

Viloria celebrated a majority decision victory.

In their previous bout, Viloria hurt Rossel and had him on the verge of collapsing when the fight was stopped and later called a no contest.

This time, Viloria went in expecting to finish what he started four months ago without bothering to lead up to it with his effective jabs. It resulted in another boring fight in which nobody was in danger, except maybe Viloria, who was in danger of becoming the second Olympian in his class to get hung with a loss.

In yesterday's bout, judges Judy Lederman voted 115-113 and John McKay 116-112 in favor of Viloria, while Fred Ucci had it even at 114-114.

Viloria has now gone 25 rounds without a knockout, the longest span of his career. His previous longest drought between floorings was the first seven rounds of his career.

Viloria improved to 10-0 with six knockouts while Rossel, a 1996 Olympian from Peru, fell to 8-5.

"Brian came in here with the idea that this was going to be a quick fight and that he'd win easily," said Freddie Roch, Viloria's trainer. "He was flat and couldn't get going.

"His biggest problem was not throwing enough combinations. They are what got him this far. After the seventh round, I got on him and that definitely helped. No question, he was in danger of losing."

Viloria said he planned to use the combinations right away, but strayed from that.

"For some reason, I was sluggish and forgot about the strategy," Viloria said. "When Freddie jumped on me, I went to my strength and fortunately was able to pull it out."

Gittelsohn says that all that matters is the win and that successive appearances on national television without a knockdown will not hurt his marketability.

Gittelsohn says he already has a fight signed for Jan. 10, and that it will be an opponent much tougher than Rossel, possibly undefeated Ramsas Patterson.

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